The Secret

I have read the book, watched the video more than a couple of times, cast spells and promptly forgotten about visualising something into our live.

This evening, my husband revealed to me in the spa; whenever he has focussed on our next move, it has eventuated.

We are currently in a period of extreme life challenges. According to the ravings of evangelical fundamentalists, we are faced with oppotunities.

Carpe diem, indeed!

Time will tell if our mid-century modern, Palm Springs house is realised in Queensland…….

Diamond Birthday Jubilee

Detail of eye shaped sculpture front of MCA

I met my future husband when he was about to turn 31 and I had turned 30.

Over the years, our shared adventures have taken us around the world and jetting between hemispheres. Amazing family and friends have enriched our lives.

Yesterday morning, we arrived in Sydney, our home for 20 years prior to making the move to Brisbane. This is our first visit in over three years.

After a light lunch at the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) we headed to the Sydney Opera House for a cocktail with a friend whom we haven’t seen for two years. He and his partner took us for a sumptuous French dinner at the Harbour View Hotel, The Rocks, Sydney.

Looking toward Kent Street from Clarence Street

Today after a late breakfast we wandered from our accommodation in the Skye Suites, Kent Street to the Queen Victoria Building, the revamped David Jones department store, and Martin Place.

Westfield Tower from QueenVictoria Building

This evening we are celebrating my husband’s 60th at Capriccio Osteria in Leichhardt, Sydney. Friends are joining us from Brisbane, Melbourne, Newcastle, and Sydney.

Overcooked

Those algorithms have started showing me ads about the price of cremations.

Reflecting on my heightened emotions and conversations, a couple of weeks ago, I question if they were due to a state of mind or reality.

Frustration; outrage; self righteous injustice; being aghast; and matters beyond my control are descriptors that pop into my consciousness.

At home I felt supported.

Outside, my reactions were analysed; The objects of my week of discontent were rationalised and normalised.

I was simply having a bad week however, not bad enough to need cremating.

Happy Halloween

Accepting and channeling my inner, shadow dwelling, fun loving, witch. Very much part of my authentic self.

A solitary feminine alter ego who feels connected to Gaia, Ancient Greek Earth goddess.

Practising white magic, she strives to bring no harm to others.

Numerology

Some say numerology is bunkum. My approach is to treat it with cautious respect. I don’t live my life by it however, I’m fascinated by numeric occurrences that appear to reinforce something.

According to numerology.com adding all of the digits of one’s date of birth together (year digits, month digits and day digits) until a value between 1 and 9 reveals one’s life plan number.

For example, my husband and I share a life plan number of one. Apparently, an auspicious number, ‘People with a Numerology Life Path 1 are born to act quickly and have no problem changing course and starting down a new path. A secret fear of failure makes them ultra-driven in every endeavor they pursue and will often make them victorious. As soon as one finish line is reached, they are already running toward another.’ This is reasonably accurate of the two of us.

Taking the concept a step further, the date my partner and I became husband and husband is 24.10.2014. Maybe it’s coincidence that 2+4=6, 1+0=1 totals 7 and 2+0+1+4=7, does this balance equate to balance?

Assuming a shared life plan is a thing, the date of our wedding in numerology is 7+7=14, 1+4=5. If our combined life plan is five, ‘People with a 5 Life Path number are on a lifelong adventure. They are ready for anything and want to soak up every experience this world has to offer. Life Path number 5 people tend to learn by living and don’t allow themselves to get stuck in any situation that has outworn its interest. The moment things start to get humdrum, a person with this Life Path will move on to something more fascinating.’ Our life together is indeed a shared adventure and we seem to be constantly moving house. My husband wants us to become grey nomads.

On Friday 28/10/2022, we had a delightful belated eighth anniversary lunch at the Manly Boathouse. As we were leaving, I noticed we were seated at table eight. This just happens to be my favourite number and wait for it, ‘go down the stairs and shut the front door!’, on the day of our wedding we wore matching silver cuff links with the symbol for infinity, eight. Oh, and the date is also eight.

I rest my case.

Unconscious distraction, consciousness

Through curiosity, I am drawn to people who are larger than life; gregarious, and artistic types. At the same time, I stand in an awe filled shadow of them.

Fascination with them taps and saps my energy. Withdrawal is the only way for me to be able to recharge.

My flexible and compromising nature supports them in taking the lead, providing they do and say in line with my values; altruism, authenticity, equity, integrity, and time efficiency.

The consequence of them behaving at odds with my values is a barely perceptible departure. There in body; my spirit having long since flown.

When my thirst for them is sated they drift spectrally to the periphery of my consciousness.

Occasionally, a human awakens my soul. Through love, friendship, and shared experiences they become an extension of my being. Neither time nor distance changes the heartfelt connection I feel for them. The bond remains in life and beyond.

Inner flight

I am a conflict avoiding being who is gratified by observing and sharing in the happiness and enjoyment of others. This makes me a mostly flexible, adaptable, and compromising human.

When doing or making something, it becomes an extension of myself through the time, energy, care, and consideration, I have invested.

When met with dissatisfaction, derision or causing disharmony, I find it challenging to observe and step back from the emotive facial expressions, behaviours, and vocalised response of others whose opinion I value.

With a tendency to catastrophize, I may misread visual and audible cues leading to automatic assumption of fault, guilt, blame and shame.

Words and expressions pierce my consciousness like arrows. The protruding shafts remain exposed to be flicked and kicked.

At my most vulnerable, my only recourse is to close down; repressing the emotions causing them to compress, churn, and pulsate in my chest and head.

Amidst the inner turmoil, thoughts do not combine into coherent wholes. There is an incapacity for the clarity of articulation to be able to respond, discuss or even graciously accept responsibility.

It takes time to release the pent up energy. Lingering tension throbs throughout my brain. There is a sense of unreality amidst flat feelings, lethargy, and fatigue.

Eventually my psyche absorbs the hurt, enabling me to move on.

Calm; not panic

There was a time when looking like a shag on a rock would have the opposite effect of self effacement. It would have instilled discomforting anxiety and a draining of self confidence, lasting for days later.

The other day, two teams congregated around the door to the meeting room. Spilling out into the breakout area, groups of twos, threes, and fours stood chatting, waiting for the occupants to vacate.

I know the majority of my colleagues by name, a few I count as more than acquaintances, having worked with them for coming up to three years.

I invested my energy in striking up a conversation with a relative newcomer, they having previously sought me out for a non work related discussions. Within seconds they walked away abandoning me to my solitude.

Maybe I had not done enough to engage with them, to deepen our relationship. When working from home they often requested my help through Teams. I am always happy to assist everyone where I can.

There was a fraction of a second of realisation, I could not escape to the contents of my mobile phone, it was on my desk downstairs. In the present moment, I calmly gazed, taking in the twenty or so people; not a hint of a blush, sweat or wish to take flight.

Early schooling

Happiest around water

I romantically assume, the purpose of schooling in 1960’s and 1970’s UK was to provide a general introduction to topics. A catalyst to inspire fresh minds to develop skills and assist in identifying one’s career path.

Primary school was all about singing, maypole dancing, being statues, playing percussion instruments, needlework, beanbags, art, decimalisation, decorating walls with forest gauging paper collages, playing ‘what’s the time Mr Wolf?’, free milk, and carbolic soap.

Streaming in secondary school labelled the ‘brightest’ two groups as ‘A’s destined for G.C.E ‘O’ and ‘A’ level study* whilst the three groups of ‘B’s were setup for C.S.E.s**. The remaining ‘R’ group of remedial students were segregated from the rest. It was rumoured they were consigned to a single room, secreted away somewhere to avoid sullying the reputation of the school and tainting the achievers.

In the first halcyon year, I realised my passions in art, pottery, drama, music, the Dewey decimal system organised library, history, English, French, and German. Dislikes included, P.E. (physical education), R.E. (religious education), geography, and science. Also, boys only, woodwork, metalwork, and technical drawing.

Girls only, typing, sewing, and domestic science were more preferable to me, sadly out of reach.

When electing a program of certificated study from the second year onwards, English language, mathematics, sports (cringe) and one science subject were compulsory. I elected courses in history, French, German, music (violin then oboe), pottery, and English literature.

As biology turned my stomach, chemistry was smelly and required an in-depth knowledge of the periodic table, physics was the only option left.

Even though as a youth and now, I had a terribly disorganised and random mind, I found solace in algebra and measuring objects.

For decades, I held onto the dog eared, pale peach gloss coloured logarithmic and other tables booklet. The cover retained an archive of finger prints, biro marks, food stains and liquid spill marks.

Unfortunately, my final year of secondary studies and fifth year examinations took place 30 kms south in a high school local to our new council house assigned to our family as part of the ‘Birmingham overspill’.

Somehow, I scraped by with four ‘O’ levels in English language, mathematics, history, and ceramics plus C.S.Es physics, German, and music (oral). Sufficient enough to commence an ordinary national diploma in hospitality.

In hindsight, we would have benefitted from courses in cooking, cleaning, laundry, personal hygiene, budgeting, safety, tolerance, respect, and communication skills.

I didn’t give up on French, gaining a high distinction in language and culture at university level in Australia.

*General Certificate of Education at Ordinary and Advanced level provided access to tertiary level technical and polytechnic colleges, and universities.

**Certificate of Secondary Education gained access to tertiary level technical colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeships.

Sunburnt goth

I live in a country with an overhead continent sized hole in the ozone layer and one of the highest incidents of skin cancer in the World. Moving to the Sunshine State of Queensland three years ago has increased the chance of skin damage.

As I inherited moles from my parents, it is recommended, I should get my skin checked annually. Thankfully at a recent going over, I was given the all clear.

An early DNA test revealed my paternal heritage hails from Northern Europe while my maternal Romani ancestors migrated from the northern Mediterranean region to the UK.

Up until around age 12, growing up in England, meant happily playing in the sun sans sunscreen. Turning red was an accepted step to a ‘healthy’ colour. It appears my Caucasian flesh pigmentation is influenced more from the northern rather than the southern realms.

During the heatwave of 1976, while caravanning in Barmouth, Wales, I learned a painful lesson. Running around topless resulted in the most excruciatingly painful sunburn imaginable. It was too sore to even have fabric next to my skin. I slept on my front, lathered in calamine lotion.

Once home, I enjoyed an unhealthy fascination with peeling great sheets of dead skin from my body.

Freckles across my upper back and shoulders are a constant reminder of that day.

With age, I have found liberally applied factor 50+ protection allows my porcelain hued complexion to gradually morph to a honey glow.

The bizarre thing is, from early on, I sought to seek out darkness rather than the light. Maybe it was rebellion against a Christian upbringing. I hungrily devoured texts laden with the macarbre, vampires, devils, witches, fortune telling, the Tarot, dreams, ghosts, and Victorian gothic romanticism. If I had been more worldly wise and less concerned with what I assumed people thought of me, I would have embraced the goth culture of the 1980s. This may even have led to finding ways to link with the eastern Germanic tribes of the same name.

A career path into hospitality reaffirmed the need to hide my identity and fit into the expected ‘norm’. Perhaps, pursuing art studies should have provided a safe space for discovering my inner self and self-expression.

In some ways my stifled authenticity has stunted my development. Labelling myself a neo pagan in my forties, I indulged my interest in the occult. I read as much as I could, learned to invoke natural energies to enhance spell work and tried to understand the hidden meaning of symbolism. The launch of this blog coincided with the conclusion of my mystical journeying.

It is now, in my late fifties, I feel comfortable and safe enough to explore my inner goth. A Brisbane Pride March and Fair Day, scheduled for yesterday has been postponed due the risk of COVID community transmission. I was gearing up to launch my goth in facial expression at these events. This would have come as a surprise to my companions.

The photograph above captures a shaky handed and hasty first attempt at the makeup. I didn’t wait long enough for the primer and foundation to dry and managed to poke myself in the eye with the mascara brush.

I haven’t worked out what to do with my beard. Maybe purple-black glitter; glam goth.